South Korean Ambassador Seeks Moscow’s Aid in Espionage Case

MOSCOW — The South Korean Embassy in Moscow disclosed on Wednesday that its top envoy has formally requested assistance from the Russian government regarding the arrest of a South Korean citizen in Russia on alleged espionage activities.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Ambassador Lee Do-hoon met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko to advocate for active Russian cooperation in ensuring the safety and rights of the detained South Korean, known by the surname Baek. The embassy initiated the meeting following Baek's detention, reported to have started in late February at Moscow's Lefortovo detention facility on accusations of passing classified data to foreign intelligence services.

Russia's TASS news agency previously reported, citing judicial sources, that Baek's confinement has been extended until mid-June. The Seoul foreign ministry confirmed its engagement with Russian counterparts to offer necessary consular support to Baek, addressing the situation diplomatically.

Baek, associated with the Global Love Rice Sharing Foundation, a South Korean humanitarian organization, was arrested while operating primarily in Vladivostok, assisting North Korean defectors and offering other forms of aid. The organization has denied the espionage allegations leveled against Baek, suggesting a potential misunderstanding or political motives behind the charges.

Lee Sun-koo, the leader of the foundation, based in Incheon, articulated Baek's commitment to humanitarian work, emphasizing his dedication to aiding vulnerable populations and foreign laborers. The foundation has denounced the accusations as baseless and plans to initiate efforts for Baek's release, starting with petitions to the South Korean foreign ministry and the Russian Embassy in Seoul.

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